Craig rides the “unrideable” line. © Cyclocross Magazine
BEND, OREGON – Home of Nationals in 2009 and 2010, home of the Halloween weekend Cross Crusade, home of the USGP, and perhaps most important, home of the Deschutes Brewery, Bend is the destination for bike racers. As Danny Summerhill told us, “It’s one of my favorite places for riding, hands down.” So it was no surprise to see a huge turnout for the USGP this weekend, though notably absent from the start were series’ leaders Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers. Compton elected to spend the week racing in Europe, and Powers, recently back from racing Roubaix, elected to take a weekend off the bike.
While OBRA had full control of the morning’s races, it was USAC and the UCI who took control for the main races of the day. Temperatures dropped suddenly in Bend as the afternoon waned, and the women took to the start at 2:15, led out by the Luna riders, Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould. While the two quickly took charge of the race, establishing a blistering pace, Nicole Duke (Alchemy) showed that Bend is in fact a course suited for her, and despite her team and health issues during the season, she managed to attach herself to the two Luna women, though couldn’t quite snag their wheels. Behind her was a group of three, featuring Crystal Anthony (CyclocrossWorld), Elle Anderson (Ladies First Racing) and Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement). With one sub-eight minute lap under their belts, the women were strung out over the greasy course.
The women hit turn number 1 en masse. © Cyclocross Magazine
A lap later, the Luna riders were still ahead of the pack by ten seconds, and Mani had bridged to Duke, passing her and developing a small gap. Behind them, a larger chase group was coming together, including Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld’s Kaitie Antonneau, Anthony, and Anderson. Within another half lap, the gap to the top two had widened, and Mani opened a large gap on Duke, who was caught by a bridging Antonneau. Behind them, Anthony gave chase along with Anderson, Mical Dyck (Stan’s NoTubes) and a freshly recovered Meredith Miller (Cal Giant), who had a forced two month break after a broken hand at Providence took her out.
At 22 minutes with three laps to go and riders spread across the course, it seemed that for all of the racers, it would be a long day on course. Nash appeared to be trying to gap her teammate, but Gould valiantly chased as the race wound down. Mani’s gap became more and more pronounced, though Duke and Antonneau kept their chasers at bay as well. While the top three remained the same, Duke dropped back, falling into the growing chase group of A. Miller, M. Miller, Krasniak and Dyck, while Antonneau powered away.
Nash grew her gap and took the win in a dominant fashion, her first USGP victory of the season, followed by Gould. Mani slotted in handily for third, with Antonneau in fourth and Amanda Miller (Optum), Anderson, Dyck and Stetson-Lee, fifth through seventh, respectively.
Post-race, we caught up with Nash, she told us, “It was good. I like the course, I like the new features. It was a kind of a busy course, it kept you going.”
When we talked to Gould, she was proud of her fast and dominant start, saying: “I haven’t had a front row start this year yet! It was no dicking around — it’s a race, I wanted to win!”
Talking about racing with teammate Nash, Gould said, “It’s nice to sit behind someone, and after a couple of laps, I could see that we were messing around and Mani was catching up a little bit, so I went to the front and started drilling it a little bit. I maybe should have saved a little bit because after that, Katerina went. So maybe that was a little ill-timed. But I rode well. When I wasn’t messing up, I was riding well.”
“My focus is always to win the race,” Nash also explained, and added that her decision to break from Gould happened, “As the laps started to go, I saw there were two of us and wanted to get a little gap.” The Czech champion will finish racing in the US tomorrow, then return to Europe for Christmas week, but be back in the US for training and racing in January in preparation for Worlds.
A relaxed Danny Summerhill took the hileshot, followed by Rapha-Focus’s Zach McDonald and Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld’s Tim Johnson. It wasn’t long before Johnson’s teammate Ryan Trebon seized control of the race, though Summerhill remained close on his wheel as they hit the first ride/run-up. A bobble by Johnson saw him and McDonald falls mere seconds behind, and the rest of the field became jammed as racers alternatively rode and stalled at the top of the greasy hill.
A lap and a half in saw the group still together, albeit strung out, with Summerhill in the lead and Trebon and Johnson directly on his wheel, followed by a determined Yannick Eckman (Cal-Giant) and McDonald. Adam Craig’s (Rabobank) ability to ride virtually any line allowed him to make up time on his competitors, as he passed three riders on a hill taking a line that was “impossible to ride,” according to spectators even after they watched the gregarious Craig make the pass.
Summerhill leads in a tricky technical section. © Cyclocross Magazine
A lap later, the top four remained Summerhill, Johnson and Trebon, with Craig, Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) and Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld) chasing. The race was far from over at only 20 minutes in, and the field was strung out but groups were separated by mere seconds.
A lap later saw the same groups with McDonald closing hard on the three chasers. Behind him, Krughoff (Raleigh-Clement), Justin Lindine (Redline) and Geoff Kabush (Scott) struggled to catch on to the main chase group.
Halfway in, Summerhill had a crash immediately before the pavement, and Trebon attacked while Johnson and Eckmann chased. Summerhill was caught by Driscoll, and settled into a position ahead of Craig.
Trebon and Johnson began working together in earnest to drop the U23 rider, while Summerhill worked furiously to catch back on, towing his group along with him.
With 20 minutes to go, Johnson and Trebon established their gap as Eckmann dropped back, leaving crowds to wonder which Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld racer would take the top podium step. Summerhill was leading the chase and successfully closing the gap to Eckmann, while Todd Wells, who’d started in the fourth row, slowly made his way into the top ten, riding smoothly through the crowd and closing on the group of Krughoff, Lindine and Kabush.
Trebon and Johnson hit the last lap together, and Craig made his attack in the chase group, shooting 200 feet off of the group and powering hard. He gapped them by seconds, with Summerhill and McDonald on his heels.
Trebon took the sprint, followed by Johnson. Craig snagged third, followed by Summerhill and McDonald.
“It became really clear that we’d be going for the win … I tried to get Ryan to make a mistake in the woods, but he was riding really well,” Johnson later said. “We were shuffling around and I couldn’t figure out where I was riding better than him.”
And Trebon agreed, knowing that the separation from the pack (“Everyone can go hard for 20 minutes!”) was only half of the battle for the win. “With three or four to go I was trying to get a little bit of separation but Tim is really tough — he’s hard to get rid of during a race!”
But Trebon was thrilled to win in his hometown, saying, “We get the most rambunctious and rowdy crowds here all season. It was a great race today.”
Perhaps most surprising was Craig’s third place podium — most surprising to Craig himself, who explained, “With all due respect, I’m in a tough spot. I kind of thought that my fitness would fall off eventually so I wouldn’t have to worry about going to Worlds. But I thought if I got on the podium here, I’d keep it rolling.”
As for tomorrow’s race, Craig merely said, “I hope there will be some more sweet jumps.”
Elite Women’s Results:
|1||NASH Katerina||Luna Pro Team||CZE||46:17||6|
|2||GOULD Georgia||Luna Pro Team||USA||46:30||6|
|3||MANI Caroline||Raleigh Clement||FRA||47:19||6|
|4||ANTONNEAU Kaitlin||Exergy Twenty 12||USA||47:52||6|
|5||MILLER Amanda||Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||USA||47:56||6|
|6||ANDERSON Elle||LadiesFirst Racing||USA||48:04||6|
|7||DYCK Mical||Stan's NoTubes||CAN||48:06||6|
|8||STETSON-LEE Teal||Luna Pro Team||USA||48:06||6|
|9||MILLER Meredith||california Giant Berry Farms||USA||48:14||6|
|12||HARLTON Pepper||Juventus Cycling Club||CAN||48:32||6|
|13||CAREY Amanda||Volkswagen Boise||USA||48:33||6|
|15||WILCOXSON Jade||Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||USA||48:45||6|
|17||GORDON Serena||Silverado p/b Sunnyside Sports||USA||49:51||6|
|18||MCFADDEN Courtenay||Peterson Racing p/b Spokesowome||USA||49:59||6|
|19||SMITH Andrea||LadiesFirst Racing||USA||50:06||6|
|20||BLATT Rebecca||Van Dessel||USA||50:12||6|
|22||GAERTNER Jenni||Motofish Racing||USA||51:04||6|
|23||MCLAUGHLIN Jayne||Zuster Cycling||GBR||51:43||6|
|24||CUTLER Jessica||Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue C||USA||51:48||6|
|25||ORTON Beth Ann||Team S&M||USA||51:52||6|
|26||DONG Evelyn||White Pine Touring||USA||52:30||6|
|27||BRUBAKER Tina||Speedvagen Racing Machines||USA||52:58||6|
|28||GUYNUP Joele||Condo Group||USA||53:08||6|
|29||MELENA Katie J||Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst||USA||54:01||6|
|30||KONCZ Natalie||Zuster Cycling||USA||54:08||6|
|31||GIBSON Shannon||Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross||USA||@2Lap||4|
|33||REPULSKI Jana||Broken Spoke Cycling||USA||@2Lap||4|
|34||BURTON Alexandra||Upper Echelon Fitness||USA||@2Lap||4|
|35||FLETCHER Sara||West Coast Women's Cycling p/b||USA||@2Lap||4|
|DNF||SHERRILL Ellen||Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst||USA|
Elite Men’s Results:
|3||9||CRAIG Adam||Giant Rabobank Team||USA||1:02:15|
|4||7||SUMMERHILL Daniel||UCI CT: Chipotle Development Te||USA||1:02:19|
|6||14||ECKMANN Yannick||California Giant/Specialized||GER||1:02:22|
|7||3||DRISCOLL James||UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home||USA||1:02:23|
|8||4||BERDEN Ben||Raleigh Clement||BEL||1:02:37|
|9||29||WELLS Todd||Specialized Factory Racing||USA||1:02:57|
|11||18||KRUGHOFF Allen||BOULDER CYCLE SPORT||USA||1:03:10|
|12||15||SCHOUTEN Tristan||Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||USA||1:03:22|
|13||10||KABUSH Geoff||Scott-3Rox Racing||CAN||1:04:02|
|14||12||MATTER Brian||RACC pb GG||USA||1:04:16|
|15||28||PAXSON Spencer||Kona Factory Team||USA||1:04:19|
|16||26||CANDELARIO Alexander||Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||USA||1:04:26|
|18||16||KAISER Cody||California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||USA||1:04:58|
|19||19||HOKE Mitchell||Team Clif Bar||USA||1:05:14|
|21||17||WELLS Troy||Team CLIF BAR||USA||1:05:15|
|23||25||JACKSON Chris||Castex Racing p/b Felt||USA||1:05:28|
|24||37||WELLS Jake||NoTubes Elite Cyclocross||USA||1:05:30|
|26||21||SCHOOLER Aaron||NORCO BICYCLES - SRI Importing||CAN||1:05:41|
|27||23||ORTENBLAD Tobin||california Giant Berry Farms||USA||1:05:42|
|28||13||RICHEY Craig||SponsorConnected.com p/b Ridley||CAN||1:05:46|
|30||53||GODBY Zane||Clif Bar junior development||USA||1:06:11|
|31||36||KAPPIUS Braden||Clif Bar Development Cross Team||USA||1:06:18|
|32||20||SHERER Mike||Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||USA||1:06:22|
|33||22||MCCONNELL Mark||Synergy Racing||CAN||1:06:28|
|34||41||TONKIN Erik||Kona/Team S&M||USA||1:06:36|
|36||38||THOMPSON Eric||Plan C p/b Challenge Tires||USA||1:06:51|
|37||30||VAN DEN HAM Michael||Cycle-Smart||CAN||1:06:53|
|38||65||DALLE ANGELINI Giancarlo||Don Walker Cycles||USA||1:06:54|
|40||49||MEANS Patrick||Team S&M||USA||-2 LAPS|
|41||51||BRANDT Chris||Honey Stinger/Bontrager||USA||-2 LAPS|
|42||70||BRADFORD Aaron||Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst||USA||-2 LAPS|
|43||47||LACAVA Paul||Giant Bicycles||USA||-2 LAPS|
|44||66||SCHMITT Damian||Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside Spo||USA||-2 LAPS|
|45||52||KELLEY Josh||Bailey Bikes SPY||USA||-2 LAPS|
|46||63||GROVE Phil||Hammer Nutrition||USA||-2 LAPS|
|47||32||SONNTAG Benjamin||GER||-2 LAPS|
|48||71||COPLEA Tyler||USA||-2 LAPS|
|49||60||WORK Alex||Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst||USA||-2 LAPS|
|50||39||CROSS Brandon||cole sport||USA||-2 LAPS|
|51||72||SELANDER Bjorn||Plan C p/b Challenge Tires||USA||-2 LAPS|
|52||69||CHAPIN Scott||Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst||USA||-3 LAPS|
|53||58||FOX Bjorn||Clif Bar Development Cross Team||USA||-3 LAPS|
|54||57||PREBLE Kolby||CLIF BAR Development Cyclocross||USA||-3 LAPS|
|55||64||WILLIAMS James||Adventures Edge||USA||-4 LAPS|
|56||61||HAMILTON Erik||Tokyo Joes/Whole Foods||USA||-4 LAPS|
|57||50||LEADER Sean||CycleWorks||USA||-4 LAPS|
|58||40||BROWN Nathan||Superfly Cycles||USA||-5 LAPS|
|59||56||GORMAN Brent||Volkswagen Boise||USA||-5 LAPS|
|60||54||REEB Donald||Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue||USA||-5 LAPS|
|61||46||THIBODEAU Chris||SHO-AIR/S.E.R.T./ T.O.N.C||USA||-5 LAPS|
|62||68||JOHNSON Kendal||California Polytechnic||USA||-5 LAPS|
|63||59||MACKENZIE Drew||Condo Group/Shimano/Marin||CAN||-5 LAPS|
|DNF||44||ADAMSON Shaun||Velocity Cycling Club||CAN|
|DNF||67||SHEPPARD Chris||Rocky Mountain Bicycles||CAN|